My Blog

Hello Shed, Goodbye Galant, Getting Old and other stuff….

Our new shed arrived last week and is now in place.  I’m keeping my motorcycle in there now.  Yesterday, I cut the grass and left the lawnmower in there, too.  No more dragging the mower up and down the basement steps.  Woo Hoo!

Today, we put window boxes on the shed and filled them with annuals.  I had to modify the steel frames of the window boxes a bit – they were made to attach to horizontal window sills, not to walls.  After bending the frame, some of the paint flaked off, so I had to touch up the paint – don’t want the thing to rust prematurely.  Don’t they look cute?

We’re continuing to work on the guest bathroom downstairs.   I recently finished up the necessary electrical work and I’m ready to close up the wall.  We’ve picked out the ceramic floor tile – it’s here and ready to install.  I’m going to put up the wall first.  The floor is prepared for the tile and we’ve purchased an inexpensive tile saw, so it’s about ready to install.  I’m working 12 hr shifts in the daytime this week, so it’s hard to say when it’ll get done.

Monica may be starting a new job soon.  She had a job offer last week and went for her drug screening (is there any job that doesn’t require that any more?)  It’s a part-time retail position at a warehouse-type store.  We’re excited about that.  It will be nice to stop worrying about applying to jobs and interviews and such for a while.

As someone that’s been on a few job interviews myself, I don’t look forward to that big lie, “We’ll let you know next week”.  Too often, that doesn’t happen.  Look, if I get dressed up, do internet research on your company, get psyched up and mentally steeled for the interview experience, find your address, drive there, find (and maybe pay for) parking and subject myself to those same, tired interview questions while smiling and acting like it’s the first time that I have heard them, the LEAST THAT YOU CAN DO AS AN HR PROFESSIONAL IS TO KEEP YOUR PROMISE TO CALL.  Hey, if I didn’t get the job, that’s OK – but I’d still like the opportunity to cross your company off of my list.  Maybe I want to go somewhere or do something instead of waiting for that call that you promised to make.  If an in-person rejection is too stressful, send me an e-mail – I’m OK with that.

Fortunately, it seems that my employment will likely continue through the upcoming ownership change at the refinery.  I likely won’t get any vacation this year, but that’s really a small problem.  Hundreds of my fellow employees are out of work and are waiting to be called back – they have bigger problems than me.  We’re lost more people on Friday.  The new owners are planning on extensive inspection and repairs to our equipment before starting the refinery back up.  It’s likely that the restart may not happen until early in 2011.  I’m really looking forward to that.

Getting old is no fun.  Last week, we went to the range for some target practice.  I haven’t gone for over a year.  I used a target pistol with open sights and I had a little trouble focusing through the sights – my eyes are getting old.  Your eyes need to focus on the near sight, the far sight and the target, changing focus rapidly enough that you don’t notice.  I had some trouble seeing clearly and I didn’t shoot as well as I normally do.  I did a little internet research and found out that it’s a normal condition of aging.  The most common solution is a red-dot type sight that you look through, solving the multi-focus problem.  Curiously, I have a really nice red-dot sight – It was mounted on a used target pistol that I purchased from a local dealer a few years ago.  I guess that it was previously owned by an old guy, huh?  Guess that I’ll have to dig that back out and re-mount it.  On my upcoming long break, I’ll give it another shot (just the right metaphor there, huh?).

Our trusty Galant is gone.  The new owner has already picked it up.  I offered the car on Craigslist for the same price that we paid for it almost two years ago.  I should have asked a bit more – I had a lot of interest, and the second person that looked at the car bought it. We were planning to replace it with something bigger before we sell the old, ugly Caravan.  We’ll be down to two cars (one car and an SUV) – much easier to deal with.  The Galant has been a great car and I’d buy another in a heartbeat if I didn’t need something to carry stuff.

Not ours, but similar

We just bought a used Mazda Tribute, the cousin to the little Ford Escape small SUV.  I can’t really drive it yet, as I need to transfer the title and get Delaware plates, a chore that will have to wait until Friday.  Sometimes, when one purchases a used car, it’s important to remember that what you’re doing is buying someone else’s problems.  It’s likely that some repairs will be necessary.  We bought the cute little SUV in Philadelphia on Friday at about 5 pm.  As it turns out, there’s a little wear in the front end – likely a tie-rod end or some such thing.  It has a shimmy that only becomes noticeable around 65 mph.  Nowhere in Philadelphia does ANYONE drive at 65 mph on Fridays at 5 pm – so we missed that on our test drive.  I’ll send the thing to the front-end shop on Tuesday and let them take care of it for us.

Yesterday, we had our little sailboat out for about eight hours.  We got in about two hours of sailing, the rest on the motor.  We didn’t even get to our destination, thanks to the failed wind, but we had a great time anyway.  My ever-so-fashionable new sailing hat did a great job of keeping the sun out of my eyes and off of my scalp.  I don’t really have a picture, as I ran the battery down on my phone (also my camera) listening to MP3s while sailing.  We need to upgrade the audio system on the sailboat – the Walmart boom box that we used last year seemed like it picked up nothing but commercials yesterday.  I’m thinking about installing a car radio.  More to come on that.

Hey, let my granddaughter introduce herself…. (don’t forget to hit the Play arrow)







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